Synopsis: Victorian London’s private detective Colin Pendragon learns that the cost of wealth can indeed be dear as he investigates the grisly fate of a well-heeled financier. . .
When wealthy Edmond Connicle suddenly disappears, his distraught wife enlists the services of master sleuth Colin Pendragon and his loyal partner, Ethan Pruitt. Already on the case, however, is Scotland Yard’s Inspector Varcoe. He suspects the Connicles’ West African scullery maid of doing in her employer, especially when a badly burned body is discovered on the estate grounds with a sack of Voodoo fetishes buried beneath it.
But all is not as it seems, and as more bodies are found, the pressure mounts on Varcoe, forcing him to forge an uneasy alliance with his nemesis, Pendragon. At the same time, Mrs. Connicle’s fragile mental state appears increasingly more precarious. Could madness, not black magic, be at the root of these murders? To untangle the twisted truth, Pendragon and Pruitt must penetrate the hidden lives of the elite and expose the malevolent machinations of a ruthless killer. . .
My review: These books often get compared to Sherlock and Watson but where the two detectives are in the relationship that fans want of the former. I think, possibly because hearing about too much fanfic over the years has distorted Sherlock stories for me, I actually now enjoy the Pendragon/Pruitt duo more. It’s refreshing and I like that, wthin the bounds of Victorian society as you’d imagine, they are free to be themselves. It’s good to see convention turned on it’s head, it doesn’t detract from the plot and it just feels more honest.
So the plot. I lost track of the twists and turns in this 3rd book of the series. That’s not a bad thing. So many murders, missing bodies, suspects…you name it, Harris threw it in. It makes for a fun and enjoyable ride trying to put it altogether. And for once I failed. I like it when I get it wrong. To me a sign of a good story when I’m surprised by the whodunnit.
The books get stronger on each release and I can’t wait for the next one.